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brown, partner in a.t. kearney's retail practice. do we know, you have a good number for me? is 2 1/2 the number, between 3 and 4, do we know? >> the numbers are all over the place depending on what time period you're looking at and who's numbers you're looking at. most of the consensus is going to be that 2.5%, 3% range where it was forecast at the beginning of the season. >> 3% to 4% would be better. >> it looks like it's going to be closer to the 3 number. >> every year we sweat this out and there's not a whole lot of deviation from the mean most years. is there more this year because of the cliff? >> yeah, i think the cliff is partially about it. but you have to look at where we come from. beginning of the season, we saw the economy turning around. we saw construction increasing. we saw consumer confidence being up. all of a sudden then, we had the impacts of sandy, a tragedy up in newtown, connecticut, and just a lot of other factors that just put a damper on the season. >> so, it is fair to say that it started better than it ended now. >> it started better than it ended. there
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